Kate Middleton recently spent two days “working” at a maternity unit in a London hospital, learning from the nurses and midwives about the skills they employ in their important work, People reports. Unlike more traditional royal endeavors, this one was little-publicized.
Ordinarily, when a member of the royal family visits somewhere, the event is publicized in advance and accompanied by cameras, documenting the royal’s every move and every interaction. This time was different, however. If it wasn’t for a diligent reading of the Court Circular — the daily roundup of the Windsor family’s comings and goings — no one would have known what the Duchess of Cambridge had been up to these past few days.
“The Duchess of Cambridge, Joint Patron, the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, today completed two days with Kingston Hospital Maternity Unit in London,” the notice read.
Specifically, the duchess spent a couple of days shadowing midwives and nurses in the maternity unit, learning what they do and how they do it.
Why she kept this activity private is known only to her and her handlers. However, it bears noting that the presence of a royal generally brings whatever work is being done to a grinding halt, something that is simply not possible in a hospital.
Like all of the more prominent members of the royal family, Kate has several patronages — that is, charities and causes that she supports by giving financially, visiting in person, or through public relations efforts. Many of hers include causes related to childbirth, infancy, and maternal health.
The Duchess of Cambridge today hosted a roundtable discussion on maternal mental health at Kensington Palace with The Royal Foundation. pic.twitter.com/LFMzAhpvSu— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) November 1, 2017
Indeed, these issues are the main focus of her royal work.
Back in May, the duchess brought together a team of advisers to help her lay out how she could focus on child welfare, the challenges faced by new mothers, and similar issues effectively.
“I hope my long-term commitment to working in the early years will help make a difference over a generational timescale. Your thoughts and advice will continue to be hugely valuable as I shape my thinking for the years ahead,” she told the committee.
Kate is not the only royal to do some of their work outside of the public eye. Her sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, has also been known to get things done quietly and behind the scenes. For example, the Duchess of Sussex turned up unannounced and without cameras to visit with some of the women affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.